Choosing the best country in Central America to visit is not easy to pick as each tourist is looking for different things to see and do. Obviously, Costa Rica is by far one of the most popular destinations, with Panama coming at second and then followed by the other five nations.
Central America is the land that links the North and South American continents. This land has seven tropical countries that are unique with their own culture, traditions, economy, politics, and way of living.
So, which do you think is the perfect country for you to visit? If you don’t have one, I hope the following will help you when deciding which is the ideal Central American country for you to visit one day or perhaps to move to.
Belize – The least populated country in Central America
Belize is the 2nd smallest country in Central America with an area of around 8,800 square miles. Furthermore, with an estimated population of fewer than 400,000 people, it has the added distinction of being the less populated country in the region.
Unlike the other nations in Central America whose official language is Spanish. Belize’s official language is English. However, a large percentage of the population speaks Spanish or Kriol (Belize’s Creole).
Belize is known around the world for things such as; Its amazing wildlife, having the largest coral reef in the northern hemisphere, its archeological sites, the great blue hole, the Belize barrier reef, and much more.
This country is excellent for visiting or making it a new permanent home. If you want more information about this country, click here!
Guatemala – The country of the eternal spring.
Guatemala is the most populated country in Central America. According to some organizations, In 2019 the population is over 17 million people.
The country of the eternal spring as it is referred to by many people has it all. Fantastic weather, beautiful beaches, great archeological sites, natural parks, unique colonial towns, and much more.
However, it is a shame that most people know Guatemala for being in the northern triangle of Central America (Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador). Being one of these three countries is synonymous with crime, violence, and poverty.
It is true that this nation has issues with crime and violence. These issues affect immensely the everyday life of its citizens. Some of the most significant issues facing people living in Guatemala are public safety, poverty, corruption, gangs, and crime.
Nonetheless, these issues, for the most part, don’t affect people visiting for the short term. As a short term visitor, public safety might be the biggest concern, but that can be taken care off by planning ahead. To learn more about Guatemala, click here!
El Salvador – The most densely populated country in Central America.
El Salvador is the smallest country in Central America with a land area of around 8,100 square miles. However, this country is the most densely populated in Central America with about 6.3 million people.
Just to give you an idea, Belize has about 700 thousand more square miles of land than El Salvador, But El Salvador has approximately 5.9 million more people living in the country.
El Salvador is often referred to as “El Pulgarcito de América,” this literally translates to America’s little thumb because it is the smallest country in the American continent. According to Google Maps, you can drive across the country in less than six hours without factoring in traffic.
This unique country is part of the Northern Triangle of Central America. Along with Guatemala and Honduras, They have an unfortunate reputation as being violent and crime-ridden. If you want more information about safety in El Salvador, read the following, “Is El Salvador safe to visit?”
The major issues affecting people living in the country are poverty, gangs, crime, the economy, official public corruption, public safety, etc.
However, the issues that most Salvadorans have to deal with every day don’t affect tourists. Tourists, for the most part, will visit safe locations in San Salvador and other top touristic destinations. To get more information about visiting El Salvador, click here!
Honduras is the country in Central America that is not well known. Nonetheless, this nation has a lot to offer its visitors and the people living in it. It includes things such as incredible jungles, amazing archeological sites, great beaches, tropical weather, and much more.
A lot of people who have traveled to this country end up falling in love with it, mainly because of everything it has to offer.
Now on to the bad, Honduras has a terrible reputation of being violent and crime-ridden. Just like Guatemala and El Salvador, the other two countries in the Northern Triangle of Central America.
Additionally, this country has one of the worst economies in Central America. And as a direct result of that, poverty in the country is a regular thing.
It is important to mention that a lot of experts believe the country is in the current situation due to corruption in the government and in business practices.
Corruption is a significant obstacle for anyone looking to invest in Honduras. According to reports, almost all sectors of the economy suffer from widespread corruption.
Nonetheless, take the opportunity, If you ever get the chance to travel to Honduras; it is a fantastic country to visit. If you need more information about Honduras, click here!
Nicaragua is a popular vacation spot in Central America. And also a popular place for people from North America and other countries to move to.
The good about Nicaragua
Some of the reasons for visiting this tropical country are; tropical weather, beautiful beaches, colonial towns, friendly people, and much more.
Additionally, for people that have moved or are considering to move, the cost of living and the climate are some of the main reasons for making a move.
The bad about Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the least stable and most impoverished country in Central America. A bad sign about the Nicaraguan economy is that from all the countries in Central America, Nicaragua is the country that produces less, and it has the lowest minimum wage in the region.
A bigger issue facing people in Nicaragua is the current political situation in the country. Many people and nations including the US see the government of President Ortega as a dictatorship. And even though he got to power by fighting for equality for Nicaraguans during the ’80s. It seems that now he is the one oppressing democracy in the country by jailing and attacking anyone who opposes him.
As of 2019, Nicaragua is still a great country to visit. However, if you are thinking about moving to Nicaragua. Make sure you do the research, especially when it comes to the political stability of the country. If you want to know more about this Nicaragua, click here!
Costa Rica – Pura vida in Central America
If you go by the number of visitors, Costa Rica is by far the best country in Central America to visit. The nation ranks as one of the most visited international destinations in the world. Consequently, tourism is one of Costa Rica’s primary sources of income.
Costa Rica is pure life or “Pura Vida” in Spanish. This country has two coasts that displays two cultures. On the Pacific Ocean, typically are the Costa Rican’s or “Ticos” and on the Atlantic Ocean, is has a more Caribbean cultural influence.
Costa Rica has a stable economy and government. Therefore, thanks to the excellent academic level of its population, as well as the high standard of services, social, and political stability is an attractive country for visiting or moving to.
Costa Rica sets a standard in Central America for traveling and living. And by the way, this democratic and peaceful country has not had an army since the year 1949.
Panama, by the number of visitors, is the second-best country in Central America to visit.
What most people know about Panama is that it’s tropical, has fantastic beaches, cool mountain locations, it has the Panama canal, and is a great place to take up a second residence or retire.
Panama, just like Costa Rica is known to be the best places in Central America to visit and to retire or move to. Costa Rica is more famous for tourism and Panama for business.
Lastly, the economy of Panama is a fully dollarized economy with a history of low inflation. This economy is based mainly on the services industry, heavily weighted toward banking, commerce, and tourism.
Have you made a decision on which is the best country in central america to visit?
To conclude, Central America is a blend of diverse cultures, ethnic groups, languages, and traditions which makes it great for touring or moving to. Furthermore, the region is synonymous with tropical weather, exotic beaches, friendly people, and much much more.
Lastly, the diverse population of each country; whose lineages come from various cultures generates the rich, unique fusion that makes it a fantastic region to learn about, visit or move to.
Get to know these amazing countries!